The Leica M-P: One Camera To Rule Them All

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Today was the day that the world got its first look at the Leica M-P. The latest rangefinder from Leica is essentially a beefed up version of the M-240 with M9-P style cues and an expanded buffer for more continuous shooting. It may just be the street photographer’s dream camera but is it worth the $700 premium over a standard M-240? Hit the jump to find out!

Leica M-P New Features

  • Newly developed Leica Max sensor (likely rebranded but identical to the M-240 sensor).
  • Sapphire scratch resistant glass.
  • 2 GB ram buffer (twice as much as the M-240 for more consecutive shots).
  • P styling with no “red dot” and Leica logo in script on the top plate.
  • Manual viewfinder frame selection with traditional “frame selector” on camera front.

And that’s it. So what’s the big deal?

It’s A Leica

Leica cameras are known for their discreet looks and quiet operation and the most coveted Leicas have been the plain black boxes. No flashy brand identification to grab attention and nothing besides the bare essentials of photography. Just a solid tool that in the hands of a true photographer can produce miraculous imagery. The M-P does not disappoint. In fact, it’s damn gorgeous.

But is it enough of a difference to warrant the $700 premium over the stock M-240? Well, yes and no.

Should You Buy A Leica M-P?

The differences between the Leica M-P and the M-240 are evolutionary, not revolutionary. The quality of pictures you get from a Leica M-P is going to be the same as the M-240. One could argue the extra memory in the buffer could come in handy in the field but if you’re shooting with a camera like this you’re probably not popping off so many shots that this would matter. One could also make an argument that working with a beautiful instrument like this would inspire you to take better pictures but that’s stretching things a bit far.

The reality is that any of the “P” branded Leica cameras solidly hold their value in the long run. A clean M9-P on eBay still sells for between five and six thousand dollars. It might cost a bit more up front but it seems you’ll get that back when it comes time to sell it.

If you already have an M-240 then there’s not much point in upgrading – this isn’t a new Leica, after all. But if it’s your first Leica rangefinder or if you’re moving up from an M9 then you might want to consider dropping a few extra bucks for the M-P. It’s a beautiful thing!

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